The term service-oriented architecture (SOA) is one of the hottest buzzwords in IT today. Indeed, it is difficult to pick up any IT-related magazine and not discover three, four or more articles on this topic. However, while a good number of senior executives are clamoring for SOAs, I find that there is a great deal of misinformation on this topic and even less knowledge on what it truly takes to implement an SOA environment.
SOA refers to the use of loosely coupled (meaning that they should be independent, sharable and technology-agnostic) services that are built to provide reusable business processes that enable communication between systems and the creation of entire applications within an organization. These services will typically pass data between each other as they perform some predefined common process. The process could be basic data movement, much more intricate data transformations, data cleansing or the use of multiple services to create a multistep, complex process.
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